Zac backs campaign to support biodiversity across the world

Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith helped launch a major cross-party campaign which is calling on the government to address the climate and ecological crises together to eradicate poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The People and Nature campaign has three asks calling on the UK government to:

  1. Make all UK Aid nature-positive, supporting more integrated interventions that improve people’s lives and enhance the natural environment.
  2. Stop harmful investments that destroy nature and contribute to climate change, such as investing in fossil fuels, deforestation, conversion and exploitation of carbon- and nature-rich ecosystems.
  3. Negotiate an ambitious deal for people and nature at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s meeting in October 2020 that is integrated with the 2030 development agenda and the Paris Agreement.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Zac said: “The distinction between supporting people and supporting nature is a false one – when nature thrives, people thrive too. It’s high time that our development policies and spending caught up with this and did more to support the environment as a crucial means of alleviating base poverty. By making sure all our aid supports environmental goals, by stopping support for anti-green policies overseas, and by stepping up our diplomatic and financial backing for the environment, people and nature will thrive.”

The decline of nature will, like climate change, affect the poorest and most vulnerable people first.

  • As many as 90% of the world’s poorest people depend on biological resources for food, fuel, medicine, shelter and transportation. [i]
  • 75% of the world’s poorest households depend directly on subsistence farming or fishing.[ii]
  • Water scarcity and declining access to fresh water are increasingly significant problems for one to two billion people worldwide. [iii]

The UK is actively undermining its own investments to tackle climate change by continuing to fund fossil fuels through aid and export finance[iv]:

  • between 2010 and 2014, the UK provided £924 million of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to fossil fuel projects
  • between 2016 and 2018, the Prosperity Fund (counted as ODA) spent approximately £1.8 million on oil and gas projects
  • between 2010 and 2016 it spent 4.8billion through UK export finance to support for fossil fuel projects. This is almost equal to total spending on International Climate Finance 2011-17, at £4.9bn.

Zac wrote about the campaign and the need to support people and nature in the Daily Telegraph -https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/07/08/worlds-poorest-hardest-hit-effects-climate-change-species-destruction/

For more information about the People and Nature campaign, visit https://www.peopleandnature.co.uk/